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The Sims 3 Building Tutorial:

How to Build on a Slope

By Tom Thigpen

Build and Edit in The Sims 3
Edit TownEdit LotsHousesHouseholdsBasements/MultistoryGaragesRooms
PoolsRoofsSlopesStairs/ElevatorsWall CurvingMovingSwitch 'hoods

This tutorial will show you how to build on a slope, we also assume you've chosen a flat lot to build on, however the same principles apply to a lot you've placed on a slope with the Ambitions patch.

Big thanks to forum member Twinmum for giving me the initial idea and helping me figure out this process!

First, use the Raise Terrain tool to create a small hill on the lot, then use the Soften Terrain tool to smooth it out a bit. I've painted the hill a bit to try and make it easier to see the elevation. This hill can be any shape you want; 'L' and 'U' shapes work best, I've used and 'L' in this example. Keep in mind that if you have a large flat area in the middle of your shape you can use it for a ground floor or walkout basement.

Now grab the foundation tool (use the brick as you can't re-color the deck) and starting at the highest point of your hill drag out a large square. This doesn't have to be in the shape of your house, it's just a guideline we're going to build on. If you don't drag from the highest point, the foundation will cut into your hill and it just looks ugly. Place a wall near the back of the lot, ideally we want the foundation and wall to be the same height or pretty darn close.

Let's say your hill is just a tad too tall and you end up with this:

There are two ways to fix this: you can either delete the foundation and lower the terrain a bit then try again, or you can cheat. For option two, hit Ctrl+Shift+C to open the cheat window and type 'constrainfloorelevation false' (without quotations). Now get the Level Terrain tool and drag from the top of your wall across the entire foundation, this will lower the foundation to the top of the wall, but will also make the ugly dips at the front of the foundation that I mentioned earlier. To remedy this use the Soften Terrain/Lower Terrain tool to even things out, but turn off the cheat by typing 'constrainfloorelevation true' (without quotations) or else you'll alter the height of the foundation too.

If your hill is too short just follow the same steps as above, it will raise the foundation to the wall level. You can then raise and smooth the terrain as you see fit (make sure 'constrainfloorelevation true' is on), or just leave it alone because stairs don't have a maximum height from which they can be placed as seen the the extreme example below.

It's now time to think about your layout. For my example house I want to have a one story house on 'top', and I'll delete some of the foundation to create a home gym on the 'ground' (this may sound confusing at first but just follow along).

The first thing I'll do is delete any foundation that is on flat ground, an leaving the foundation on sloped ground alone (make sure cheats are off).

When I'm done I end up with this:

The foundation at the inside of the 'L' will become two of the walls for my ground-level gym.

To build the top level and make room for the ground floor, we'll need more space than just this little 'L' so I rebuilt the original square using walls, and now I can build the top level of my house on top of this. As you can see I've made stairs on the top level that will lead down to the gym on my ground level.

Once my framework of my top level is done it's time to remove the excess foundation and walls. After that's done I'll make walls on the ground level directly beneath the top level. To create walls that run along a foundation you may need to use 'constrainfloorelevation false' (be sure to turn it off when you're done to avoid building conflicts). If you find yourself unable to delete certain walls or foundations try removing any doors/windows you have on the top level then replacing them after you've deleted the foundation/walls you need.

You now have a house that is built on a slope with a front entrance at the top of the hill and a possible ground level rear entrance at the bottom of the hill. You can recolor the brick foundation using the Create-a-Style tool to match the rest of your house but there will be a slight discoloration where the wall meets the foundation.

When you use foundations as your ground level wall you run into the problem of not being able to place objects like paintings or toilets against them, since the foundation does not actually count as a wall. To circumvent this issue use the cheat 'moveobjects on' (without quotes) to place objects where you need to, then turn the cheat off afterwards.

Here's the exchange link for the final house, I believe it contains items from only the base game, but definitely no CC:

So there you have it, if you have any questions feel free to PM TommyT and I'll do the best I can to help you.

Build and Edit in The Sims 3
Edit TownEdit LotsHousesHouseholdsBasements/MultistoryGaragesRooms
PoolsRoofsSlopesStairs/ElevatorsWall CurvingMovingSwitch 'hoods

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How do you build a second story in the sims base pack?
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